Memorial Day at Hardin Cemetery: Remembering the fallen, the flood of 1993

The Rev. Chris Cox of Hardin First Baptist Church and others put their hands over their hearts as the National Anthem is played at Memorial Day services at Hardin Ceremony.
(Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

By JoEllen Black/Richmond News Executive Editor

Single silk flowers — red for adults and white for children — were placed in front of symmetrically lined grave markers for the remains of the “unknown” — those identified only by gender and a number.

Monday was a day of remembrance for veterans and loved ones at Hardin Cemetery, but also for those who endured the flood of 1993, which changed the landscape of the 186-year-old cemetery and the Hardin community nearly 25 years ago.

“July 13, 1993, a flood came through the cemetery and changed the look,” said Steve Shirley, a longtime Hardin Cemetery Association board member. “We need to put a proper foundation under the tombstones (of the unknown). They are just set in the ground, to do later when money allows for work on these stones,” he said.

During that flood, a Missouri River levee broke, creating a vast washout — at one time 80-feet deep — that unearthed vaults from their resting places. The washout remains, splitting the older part of the cemetery from the newer section.

On Monday, keynote speaker the Rev. Chris Cox said, “God gave us the gift of memory, to remember what is important.”

The complete version of this story appears in the Tuesday, May 29, edition of The Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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